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Gusciora not ready to endorse in presidential race

Trenton mayor decries Biden comments on segregationist senators

By Nikita Biryukov, June 21 2019 2:47 pm

Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora isn’t ready to back anyone for the presidency, though he does have some preferred candidates.

“I like the Bs — Booker, Buttigieg and Biden,” Gusciora told the New Jersey Globe Friday.

The three he is referring to are U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden.

The mayor said it was too early for him to endorse anyone in the race.

“We’ll have to see how it fleshes out,” Gusciora said. “You always want to be supportive of the hometown team, and Sen. Cory Booker has been a great advocate for the state of New Jersey and is really good on urban issues, so we’re very supportive. I do like Buttigieg because as a fellow member of the LGBT community, you want to support those in the same community as well.”

Gusciora is Trenton’s first openly gay mayor of Trenton and was the first openly-gay member of the state legislature before he left to take his current post in 2018.

Booker and Biden have recently had something of a dust up over comments the latter main praising the civility of two segregationist senators with whom he served during his time in the upper chamber of Congress.

Gusciora, who was one of the legislatures most progressive members when he served there, had nothing good to say about Biden’s comments about former Sens. James O. Eastland and Herman Talmadge.

“I was a political science major in the 70s and 80s. I actually saw those senators, and I don’t think that you could put lipstick on a pig on those two,” Gusciora said. “They were racist, and I’m glad that they’ve long retired from politics.”

At a fundraiser earlier this week, Biden said that “at least there was some civility” between opposing parties when Eastland and Talmadge were in office.

“I was there when Jesse Helms was there and even Strom Thurmond,” said Gusciora. “They were not helpful to promoting diversity in any way, and I don’t think that’s a good thing they were polite. It’s what they did behind the scenes that should not be applauded.”

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